Cooper Makes Adjustments To Astros’ Coaching Staff

By Brian McTaggart
Updated: October 2, 2007

HOUSTON — Astros manager Cecil Cooper wasted little time in beginning to put together his coaching staff for next season, announcing Sunday’s finale he was bringing aboard Jackie Moore and Dewey Robinson.

Moore, who spent the previous three years as manager at Class AAA Round Rock, joins the staff as bench coach, and Robinson replaces Dave Wallace as pitching coach. Wallace has decided not to return for a second year, citing family reasons.

Doug Mansolino, who was hired by Phil Garner before the 2005 season, was let go, leaving the Astros with an opening for a third-base coach. Jose Cruz will return to coaching first base after spending the past month as Cooper’s bench coach.

Hitting coach Sean Berry, bullpen coach Mark Bailey and bullpen assistant Strech Suba will return next year.

“I think every manager deserves an opportunity to have some of his people in place,” Cooper said. “And I think it’s just a familiarity situation. I would have loved to have Dave Wallace remain, but that’s a personal decision that he decided to go elsewhere or to not remain.

“And in Mansolino’s case it’s just a point of he and I are — I don’t want to say we’re at odds or anything like that. It’s just that sometimes you want your own people. Doug is a great baseball person.”

Moore, who just completed his 51st year in baseball, has spent the last eight years managing Round Rock, which has been the Astros’ Class AAA affiliate the past three years. He attended Bellaire High School and spent three seasons as the manager of the Oakland A’s (1984-86).

Moore, 68, also has served as bench coach for Colorado (1996-98) and coached at the big league level with Milwaukee (1970-72), Texas (1973-76, 1980, 1993-94), Toronto (1977-79), Montreal (1987-89) and Cincinnati (1990-92), where he won a World Series ring.

Moore was Cooper’s first professional manager in Jamestown, N.Y., in 1968.

“I’m very excited about it,” Moore said. “I’ve been in the Astros system for the last eight years and have seen a lot of these players get to the big league level.”

Robinson served the past two seasons as director of pitching development after spending the previous nine years as the team’s minor league pitching coordinator. He previously coached 10 years in the White Sox organization.

Wallace was asked to return but decided to spend more time at home. General manager Ed Wade said the club will try to keep Wallace in the organization in an advisory role.

“It was a gut-wrenching decision,” Wallace said. “They were very good about it. It’s a tough decision.”

Mansolino did work in Sunday’s final regular season game.

“I signed up for 162 (games),” he said. “But I’m fine with it. I think the manager should have his own guy. I’m old-fashioned that way. A third-base coach is usually the guy a manager should have in his corner. I was perfectly OK with it.”

Meanwhile, senior director of player personnel and scouting Paul Ricciarini was reassigned by Wade to a yet-to-be-determined role.

“Ed has some ideas that are smart ideas, and it’s time for me to do some other things in the organization,” Ricciarini said. “He did offer me the opportunity to get back to upper-level evaluation. It hasn’t been defined as of yet, but he’s given me a whole lot of confidence he can utilize whatever I can bring to the table.”